Come From Away Audition Brief
Broadway producers Junkyard Dog Productions and Rodney Rigby announce that casting for the Australian production of the Broadway musical COME FROM AWAY, to open in Melbourne at the Comedy Theatre in July 2019, will begin this May in Melbourne and Sydney.
On September 11, 2001, the world stopped. On September 12, their stories moved us all.
COME FROM AWAY tells the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland, Canada thatwelcomed them. Cultures clashed, and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.
Creative Team and Background
COME FROM AWAY features a book, music and lyrics bytwo-time Tony Award and Grammy nominees; and Outer Critics Circle Awardand Drama Desk AwardwinnersIrene Sankoff and David Hein, direction by Tony Award winnerand Outer Critics Circle Award winnerChristopher Ashley, musical staging by two-time Tony Award nominee and Helpmann Award winner Kelly Devine, and music supervision by Ian Eisendrath.
COME FROM AWAYwon the 2017 Tony Award for “Best Direction of a Musical” (Christopher Ashley), five 2017 Outer Critics Circle Awards (NYC) including “Outstanding New Broadway Musical,” three 2017 Drama Desk Awards (NYC) including “Outstanding Musical,” four 2017 Helen Hayes Awards (Washington D.C.) including “Outstanding Production of a Musical,” four 2016 Gypsy Rose Lee Awards (Seattle) including “Excellence in Production of a Musical,” six 2016 San Diego Critics Circle Awards including “Outstanding New Musical,” three 2017 Toronto Theatre Critics Awards including “Best New Musical,” and three 2017 Dora Awards (Toronto) including “Outstanding New Musical/Opera” and “Outstanding Production,” and the 2017 Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award (Toronto).
COME FROM AWAY features scenic design by Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Tony Award nominee Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by two-time Tony Award winner Howell Binkley, sound design by Tony Award nominee and Outer Critics Circle Award winnerGareth Owen, orchestrations by two-time Tony Award nominee August Eriksmoen, and music arrangements by Ian Eisendrath with musical direction by Helpmann Award winner Luke Hunter.
Following out-of-town engagements for over twenty-one months, the Broadway production opened on March 12, 2017 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre where it continues to play to standing room only audiences. A second company opened on February 18, 2018 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto and a third company will launch the North American Tour across the USA and Canada. Productions elsewhere including London, Japan and China are in the works.
The Mark Gordon Company will produce and finance a feature film adaptation of COME FROM AWAY. Irene Sankoff and David Hein, who wrote the book, music and lyrics, will adapt the feature screenplay for the project and Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley will direct, and MGC’s Mark Gordon will produce.
Irene Sankoff and David Hein have written a very complex, unconventional musical that breaks all the traditional “rules” of musical theatre. Their main focus has always been on telling these amazing stories, so the stories dictated the storytelling. This is an ensemble production where all character’s story lines are equally important. The characters in COME FROM AWAY are composites of the hundreds of stories Irene and David worked from to create a theatrical narrative inspired by a pivotal moment in history.
There are only two solo numbers in the show and they come at moments when those characters find themselves separated from the community. The solos further isolate these characters from
the group. Many of the musical numbers are not written in the usual verse/chorus structure, but instead in a rhythm of how the characters speak and how the story dictates.
COME FROM AWAY differs from conventional musical theatre scores as it is actually an underscored play which breaks out into songs. There is constant underscoring that is reflective of the drama and always tied to the character/story points via aural motifs throughout. Christopher Ashley has directed the show so not a word, note or movement is wasted in telling our story. It is a tapestry of dialogue, underscoring and songs which, with intricate timing, blend seamlessly together. Christopher Ashley is casting twelve versatile actors to tell the stories of 16,000 people, the company needs to be diverse to represent the various cultures, creeds, colours, ages, religions, races and sexual orientations of the participants. Kelly Devine’s musical staging has the cast constantly in motion and is a large part of our storytelling.
COME FROM AWAY is a story about communities coming together, helping displaced refugees, and having compassion for people in need, regardless of religion, race, or sexual orientation.
All suggestions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please attach updated CV’s and current headshots.
All CV’s MUST list the age and vocal range of the performer.
Deadline for submissions Tuesday 10th April, 2018.
All material will be available from the website, via a password protected page.
Details will be provided upon confirmation of audition booking.
7th – 27th May in Melbourne and Sydney
Workshops/Brush ups as required
4th – 10th June in Melbourne and Sydney
11th – 17th June in Melbourne and Sydney
Musical Director – Luke Hunter
Producer – Rodney Rigby
Resident Director – Martin Croft
Casting Director – Lynne Ruthven
Authors - Irene Sankoff and David Hein
Director – Christopher Ashely
Choreographer – Kelly Devine
Music Supervisor and Arranger – Ian Eisendrath
Musical Director – Luke Hunter
Producers – Sue Frost, Randy Adams, Rodney Rigby
Resident Director – Martin Croft
Casting Director – Lynne Ruthven
Commence in Melbourne on or around 27th May 2019.
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING
- Artists must be available for the audition period, if a performer has any restrictions please note them on the submission.
- Artists currently contracted to a production that conflict with the start date of rehearsals for COME FROM AWAY should not audition.
- Auditions will take place in Melbourne and Sydney. Anyone residing in other states who would to apply for an audition will be required to “self-audition” and record their musical numbers/scene first. Audition materials for this will be distributed to artists the week commencing 16th April and submissions of their videos will be required no later than 23rd April.
- Those called back by the creative team will need to be available to make their own way to preliminary auditions in either Sydney or Melbourne on Monday the 7th, 14th or 21st May (TBC).
- Please note, that all successful artists from the preliminary auditions, will be required to attend the final auditions in person so that the Broadway creative team can work with them.
- Monday 11th June will be designated for interstate artists in finals.
- Final auditions will also be filmed and sent to the any of the Broadway Creative team and Producers that are unable to attend auditions in Australia.
- All artists being considered for final approval by the Broadway creative team may need to enter pre-contractual commitments to be put in place in the event that they are successful.
- Successful artists will be required to commit to a Run of Play contract.
- Artists based in either Sydney or Melbourne will only be engaged.
- Artists should please be advised that this is an ensemble company.
- All artists and representatives of artists are advised that there are no billing arrangements for any role other than what will be accorded on the title page of the programme, in line with all previous international productions of COME FROM AWAY, in alphabetical order. If billing is a contentious issue for an individual artist, they should not audition. A sample of the title page billing is available on request.
- Artists will be required to have lines and lyrics learned for the first day of rehearsals.
- If an artist is not prepared to be engaged on these terms, they should not audition.
Various accents are required for all roles.
BEVERLY & OTHERS:
Female, 40s-50s, any ethnicity. An American Airlines pilot, Beverly has always loved flying, but her world is changed when she hears about co-workers who were killed in the attacks, and when she is confronted by passengers who refuse to fly again. Also plays ANNETTE, a local teacher at the Gander Academy and mother to a lot of children. Must be comfortable with very athletic movement.
Vocal Requirements: Excellent singer. Contemporary soprano belter with strong high mix up to an E.
BEULAH & OTHERS:
Female, 40s – 60s, any ethnicity. Head of the Gander Legion (Canada’s Veteran support and community service organisation), with a firefighter son, she befriends Lana and walks to church and prays with her. Quick-witted and open hearted, Beulah loves to share a joke. Must be comfortable with very athletic movement.
Vocal Requirements: Excellent singer. Mezzo with strong belt up to B.
BONNIE & OTHERS:
Female, 30s–50s, any ethnicity; A no–nonsense mother of three, Bonnie is the head of the Gander area SPCA (Australian equivalent to the RSPCA). When she discovers animals are trapped on the planes, she stops at nothing to ensure their safety – but in frustration, she often lashes out at those around her. Must be comfortable with very athletic movement.
Vocal Requirements: Excellent singer. Mezzo with strong belt and mix up to a C.
DIANE & OTHERS:
Female, 50s-60s, any ethnicity. Diane is a traditional divorcee from Texas, who is terrified that her son may have been flying at the time of the attacks. When she finds out he is safe, she’s given a new lease on life and discovers a wilder more carefree side of herself. Must be comfortable with very athletic movement.
Vocal Requirements: Contemporary soprano with strong belt up to a C# and the ability to mix up to an E (must be able to sing without vibrato).
HANNAH & OTHERS:
Female, 30s–50s, African–American, Latina, Asian, or any ethnicity; the mother of a firefighter in Manhattan, Hannah waits for news about her son and is comforted by Beulah. Must be comfortable with very athletic movement.
Vocal Requirements: Contemporary soprano with strong soulful belt up to a C# and mix up to an E (must be able to sing without vibrato).
JANICE & OTHERS:
20s, any ethnicity. An eager new local TV reporter, Janice is thrown into the deep end on her first day. Initially naïve about the world, Janice must face the pain and confusion around her. Comedy skills a plus. Must be comfortable with very athletic movement.
Vocal Requirements: Mezzo with strong belt up to B.
BOB & OTHERS:
Male, late 20s – 30s, African-American. A hardened New Yorker, Bob is suspicious of where he’s landed, fearing that it’s World War Three, that someone is going to shoot him and steal his wallet – but instead he ends up losing his New York jadedness. Must be comfortable with very athletic movement.
Vocal Requirements: Contemporary Baritone with a rich, dynamic sound that easily sings up to an E (must be able to sing without vibrato).
CLAUDE & OTHERS:
Male, 40s–60s, any ethnicity; The gregarious and well-liked Mayor of Gander, Newfoundland, Claude loves his work, the townspeople, and his daily traditions, but he’s never before had to deal with a crisis of this magnitude. Also plays DERM, mayor of the nearby town of Appleton. Must be comfortable with very athletic movement.
Vocal Requirements:Tenor or Baritenor with a strong G (must be able to sing without vibrato).
KEVIN T & OTHERS:
Male, 30s-40s, any ethnicity. The head of an environmental energy company in Los Angeles, Kevin was on vacation with his boyfriend (and secretary, also named Kevin), when they are stranded in Gander. Inspired by the town’s generosity, Colin creates the ‘Pay It Forward Foundation.’ Also plays the role of GARTH, head of the local union representing the bus drivers. Must be comfortable with very athletic movement.
Vocal Requirements:Contemporary high Tenor that easily sings up to an A (must be able to sing without vibrato).
KEVIN J & OTHERS:
Male, 30s-40s, Middle Eastern, Asian, Latino, African-American, or any ethnicity. Kevin T’s boyfriend and secretary. Sarcastic and unhappy, he wants to leave and get back to the U.S. as soon as possible. Also plays ALI, an Iranian passenger. Must be comfortable with very athletic movement.
Vocal Requirements: Contemporary Baritenor with a rich, dynamic sound that easily sings up to an F# (must be able to sing without vibrato).
NICK & OTHERS:
Male, 50s–60s, any ethnicity; An English oil engineer who is focused on his work, Nick’s life is turned upside down when he falls for another passenger, Diane. Must be comfortable with very athletic movement.
Vocal Requirements: Baritone that sings up to an F# (must be able to sing without vibrato).
OZ & OTHERS:
Male, 30s–50s, any ethnicity; The quirky constable in the two–person Gander police force. When the town’s population suddenly doubles, Oz helps out in unexpected ways. Also plays the role of JOEY, a rambunctious passenger on one of the planes who enjoys a good drink. Must be comfortable with very athletic movement.
Vocal Requirements: Contemporary high Tenor with strong pop and legit vocal style that easily sings up to an A (must be able to shift from full mix to falsetto on a high A, and must be able to sing without vibrato).
Six Female and Males understudies who will each have two primary roles together with two or three alternate roles.